edCount is pleased to announce that the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) has been awarded a three-year grant under the U.S. Department of Education’s Competitive Grants for State Assessments (CGSA) program for the Coherence and Alignment among Science Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment (CASCIA, pronounced Kah’-seeya) project. Set to begin its three-year timeline in fall 2022, CASCIA is intended to yield a scoring and score reporting framework that builds educators’ capacity to track, interpret, and communicate students’ learning in science. As the lead state for this grant, the NDE will collaborate with two other states, Alabama and Alaska, three organizations providing technical support (edCount, LLC; the Learning Sciences Research Institute at the University of Illinois, Chicago; and EdMetric, LLC), and an external evaluator (Seneca Consulting, LLC). CASCIA is the third in a series of CGSA-funded projects focusing on improving learning and assessment in science. It extends and expands upon the work of the Stackable, Instructionally-embedded, Portable Science (SIPS) Assessments project, funded by a CGSA in 2020 and the Strengthening Claims-based Interpretations and Uses of Local and Large-scale Science Assessment Scores (SCILLSS) project funded by a CGSA in 2016. These projects produced science curriculum and assessment resources that will become publicly available in 2023 as well as established a replicable process for educators to create similar resources on their own. Like its predecessors, CASCIA will prioritize the active participation of state and local educators throughout the project to maximize the relevance, usefulness, and coherence of the resources it yields for teachers, students, and parents. The project will reinforce links between expectations for student learning, what students experience in their classrooms and on assessments, and the information assessments provide. As such, CASCIA will align with states’ efforts to highlight assessments that support instruction in their statewide assessment systems. The CASCIA team will develop resources that benefit education agencies both within and outside of the CASCIA project. These resources will be made publicly available at www.sipsassessments.org during the course of the project. For more information about the CASCIA project, please contact Ellen Forte at eforte@edcount.com.